The Hillbillies have now lost four out of their last five games after suffering a 64-52 setback on Friday night to the Class AA Westside Renegades at the Man Memorial Fieldhouse.
Man (3-6) raced out to a 12-9 first period advantage, led by sophomore Evan Riggins, who had a team-high 13 points.
Westside and Man then played toe-to-toe in the second quarter as Thomas Booth’s jumper gave the Billies a 16-13 lead at the 5:52 mark. The Renegades’ lone returning starter, Eric Bailey, tied it up 20-20 with 2:12 left after scoring a bucket in the paint.
Later, Man’s Cory Spence hit a 3-pointer to put the Billies back on top 27-26. But Bailey hit a jumper with two seconds left to give WHS a slim 28-27 halftime lead.
In the third quarter, the Renegades took a 10-point lead at the 2:06 mark of the third frame. Booth, Spence and freshman Jim Nelson hit buckets to cut the deficit to 46-41 heading into the final quarter.
In the fourth, Spence’s jumper cut the margin to 48-46 with 4:51 left in the game. Riggins had a three-point play, fastbreak layup and free throw to make it a 54-52 ballgame with 2:11 left. Westside, however, pulled away in the final two minutes, hitting 9-of-16 free throws to come away with the victory.
“We played hard but it came down to us making foul shots to win and we didn’t,” Man coach Jimmy Justice said. “We didn’t move the ball on offense. There was too much standing around. The defense played OK. You’ve got to credit their defense. They put pressure on the ball and took us out of our offense.”
Man was just 11-of-21 from the foul line. Westside was 20-of-30.
Spence added 11 points for Man. Nelson had eight, Khris Tolliver seven, Miller six, Booth four and Zac Robinson three.
Bailey led Westside with 19 points. Donnie Hicks also reached double figures in scoring with 15. Travis Whitten added nine and Zack Helmandollar eight. Dakota Toler had five, Matt Brewster four and Cameron Brown and John Lay had two each.
Man was scheduled to return to the hardwood last night at home against Mercer Christian. The Billies play at Gilbert on Tuesday night.